A Great Idea For Cell Phone Etiquette…

One of the best I’ve heard, anyway. You know, aside from saying “could you please turn off your cell phone during dinner? Thanks.” Do tell? Here you go. From the editors at The Week,

How ‘The Phone Stack’ is Civilizing Dinners out with Friends
Tired of cell phones interrupting every meal? A clever new game poses a solution.

Don’t you hate it when a nice meal with friends is constantly interrupted by beeping iPhones and Androids? Well, a buzzy new game called “The Phone Stack” offers an amusing solution. Here’s how it works: (Warning! what follows is rated PG-13.)

What is “The Phone Stack”?

Also known as “Don’t Be A Di*k During Meals With Friends,” the game tries to curb cell phone interruptions when dining out with pals. After everyone orders, they place their phones in the center of the table, face down. They may even stack the gadgets, as the name suggests. Even as the phones buzz and ring throughout the meal, no one is allowed to grab his device. If someone is unable to resist his smartphone’s siren’s song, he’s responsible for picking up the check.

Who came up with the idea?

A 20-year-old named Stephie, who lives in California, is getting the credit. “I recommend not being such a stickler or hardass on people about the rules and even initiation of the game,” she says on her blog. “Basic premise is to just get people open to the idea of staying active and attentive to one another. But if someone has to take a call; they have to take a call =).”

And people like “The Phone Stack”?

It’s “brilliant,” says Dave McGinn at Canada’s Globe and Mail. And it’s really striking a chord with people. Yeah, it “sounds like the ultimate in dining/phone etiquette,” says Elie Ayrouth at Foodbeast. It might just be one of the “coolest” pieces “of socially engineered live gaming I have ever heard of.” As you play, you just have to ask yourself, “Is that text message worth the cost of everyone else’s dinner?”

Go take their survey on cell phones and let them know what you think. Then head over to the Wall Street Journal and check out how a cell phone wrecked havoc with the New York Philharmonic. It must have been a slow news day yesterday. Jennifer Maloney shares the horror,

The final movement of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony is a slow rumination on mortality, with quiet sections played by strings alone.

During the New York Philharmonic’s performance Tuesday night, it was interrupted by an iPhone.

The jarring ringtone—the device’s “Marimba” sound, which simulates the mallet instrument—intruded in the middle of the movement, emanating from the first row at Avery Fisher Hall.

When the phone wasn’t immediately hushed, audience members shook their heads. It continued to chime, and music director Alan Gilbert turned his head sharply to the left, signaling his displeasure.

Minutes passed. Each time the orchestra reached a quiet section, the phone could be heard above the hushed, reverent notes.

Finally, Mr. Gilbert could take no more: He stopped the orchestra.

Sho’ ’nuff! We’ve all been there, huh? “Maybe if I just don’t move a muscle, maybe nobody will know that infernal device belongs to me.” Go read the conclusion of the slow news day story on cell phone silliness.



Image credit: Photo: CC BY: psd

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